Spanish magazine stands by Fabregas quotes after Wenger's strong denial

 

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger's claim that an interview given by Cesc Fabregas, in which the Arsenal captain questioned the club's ambition, was inaccurate was met with a fierce rebuttal by the Spanish magazine that published the piece.

Wenger launched a scathing attack on Don Balon after Wednesday's 3-3 draw with Tottenham, claiming their reporter had written "the complete opposite" of what Fabregas had said in a club-authorised interview at the Arsenal training ground.

Yesterday the weekly magazine released the audio file of the Fabregas interview on their website as well as a strongly-worded rebuttal of Wenger's allegations. It was translated by The Independent's Spanish football correspondent Pete Jenson, a fluent Spanish speaker.

Fabregas clearly makes the points reported in Don Balon and followed up by British newspapers, including The Independent. The Arsenal captain said that despite his club's cautious financial position "there comes a moment when you take the next step, you either win or you don't win".

On Wednesday Wenger said: "The whole article is exactly the opposite of what the player said." He also claimed the magazine "did twist completely the article and we are really upset about it". The club were also angry an agreement Fabregas could see the article before publication was not honoured.

Don Balon said yesterday their article was "completely faithful and respectful" to Fabregas's words. In the interview Fabregas noted that, unlike Wenger at Arsenal, a manager of one of the three biggest Spanish clubs would not "continue" if they failed to win a trophy "for two or three years".

Responding to the observation that Arsenal play attractive football, Fabregas said: "Yeah, but after 2007-08 [season] you realise it's not enough. You enjoy it, you are in four competitions: cup final, quarter-finals and you say 'Enjoy it, enjoy it' but you are missing that final point."

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